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With McCardell, A New Look At WR Corps

Since late July, the Redskins have sought to fine-tune their wide receiver corps with veterans.

First it was Corey Bradford. Then it was Todd Pinkston. Both have since been released. After the season started, it was Reche Caldwell.

And now, it's Keenan McCardell.

McCardell, a 15-year veteran who has the ninth-most catches in NFL history with 861, signed with the Redskins on Monday and was out on the practice fields working with teammates.

After practice, he took time to get some additional work with Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Antwaan Randle El, James Thrash and Caldwell.

Asked about McCardell, head coach Joe Gibbs said on Monday: "Keenan can contribute a lot very quickly, which is the reason we opted to go with him. He fits in great with us.

"He knows the system inside and out. When he came in, he was running quality routes right off the bat."

Added Gibbs: "We have some concerns [at wide receiver] and when we have someone out there who we think can help like this, we don't want to pass up on the opportunity."

So far, Santana Moss and Randle El have emerged as the starters. Moss leads the club in receptions with 12, for 199 yards. Randle El has 11 catches for 238 yards, an impressive 21.6 yards-per-catch average.

The addition of McCardell would appear to impact Brandon Lloyd and Caldwell the most. Thrash plays a key role on special teams.

Lloyd and Thrash do not have receptions yet this year, while Caldwell has been inactive each game so far as he works his way into playing time.

Lloyd said on Monday that if McCardell can help the Redskins win, then he welcomes the move.

"Whatever we can do to win--that's my motto," Lloyd said. "I'm just focused on this season, this season only, and hopefully everything will work out."

Said Gibbs: "With Brandon, he has been in there on a number of plays, but we just haven't got hooked up on him. As a matter of fact, Chris Cooley only has five catches right now, which is disappointing.

"We're hoping that Brandon can be more productive as we go."

Caldwell, who played alongside McCardell for two seasons in San Diego, is working his way into playing time with the Redskins.

Said Gibbs of Caldwell: "We like him a lot and I think he is ready go. I think he has been impressive in practice and I would like to get him playing. We've stayed pretty healthy at receiver and the problem is, we only carry four receivers [on GameDay]."

McCardell said he wants to come in and provide steady leadership and a winning approach.

"If we want to go where we want to go--and that is deep in the playoffs and to the Super Bowl--then we are all going to have to make plays," he said. "People get knicked up here and there. When it is your time to get your number called, you are going to have to make plays."

Meantime, Moss has been slowed by a groin injury since Week 3 and his status for this Sunday's game against Detroit is uncertain.

If Moss is sidelined, then it's possible that McCardell could see action in this Sunday's game against Detroit. McCardell is likely in playing condition since he spent preseason with Houston.

Moss said that the addition of McCardell would not impact the Redskins' current receivers because they each know their roles.

"I feel like whenever you bring somebody in, it'll help the group be a lot stronger," Moss said. "He's a well-established guy who has done a lot in this league. Whatever they ask him to do, he can do it. So it's pretty much the more, the merrier.

"He doesn't impact a guy who knows his job. If you're an individual who knows the role the team has set for you, then you can just go out and do what you have to do."

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